Football: Inter Milan fined $81,774 for Balotelli racist abuse

MILAN (REUTERS) - Inter Milan have been fined 50,000 euros (S$81,774) after fans racially abused their former player Mario Balotelli in Sunday's derby with AC Milan, Serie A's disciplinary commissioner said in a statement on Tuesday.

Balotelli, himself, has been fined 10,000 euros for an "insulting gesture" towards Inter fans at the end of the 1-1 draw.

Italian authorities have long been criticised by anti-racism campaigners for not cracking down hard enough on discrimination in sport and more displeasure may follow at Inter's relatively small fine coupled with a warning from the commissioner over future incidents.

The fine was not just for the Balotelli abuse but also for racism towards Milan's fellow former Inter player Sulley Muntari as well as offensive banners and fans' use of a laser aimed at players' eyes.

The 22-year-old Balotelli raised a finger to his lips when fans of Inter - where he had made his name before moving to England's Manchester City - made monkey calls and waved inflatable bananas at the San Siro.

Balotelli, Italy's most prominent black player, has been the biggest target of racist abuse from the stands and reports said part of his motivation for moving to City in 2010 was a desire to escape the insults.

Juventus were forced to play a home game behind closed doors in 2009 after fans racially abused the Italy international striker by singing "a black Italian does not exist".